Launched on 31 March 2005, W9 (French: double-ve neuf) is a national commercial TV channel in France, owned by Groupe M6, which in turn is owned by RTL Group. The channel is named such because W9 is an inversion of M6, the parent channel, and because Groupe M6 won a licence to broadcast on channel 9 on national (TNT) television.
W9 has a focus on entertainment programming, as well as music, targeted at a younger audience than the generalist nature of M6.
W9 was launched in March 1998 as M6 Music. It was ment to air on the Télévision Numérique Terrestre in 2005, but it was split into two channels: W9, that would air on the Télévision Numérique Terrestre and M6 Music Hits, that would not.
When television licenses were granted for the new digital terrestrial network (TNT), M6 Music was given a permission to broadcast for free.
On the terrestrial platform, the channels were assigned a pre-determined channel number. The seven historical analogue channels were given numbers 1 through 7, while the seven new channels would get numbers 8 through 14. What exact number the new channels would get was chosen at random through a draw on 7 December 2004. M6 Music was lucky enough to get number 9. This made M6 take the opportunity to rename the channel W9, which is M6 upside-down.
M6 Music changed its name to W9 and launched on TNT on 31 March 2005. (M6 Music was relaunched as a pay-TV channel afterwards in 2012.) The launch identity was created by View.
A high-definition simulcast of W9 launched on 18 May 2011.
For the first time in 13 years, W9 launched a completely overhauled look on 19 November 2018, created by Paris-based Gédéon and featuring a graphics package with bright lights, fluorescent colours and sharp typography (set in the Sharp Grotesk typeface in multiple weights and styles). The key design element is a varicoloured slash. The channel adopted the slogan of 100% W9.
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